Four of the five Western Michigan touchdowns last year against Central Michigan came from Alex Carder and Jordan White.
Neither Carder nor White will be on the field for the Broncos Saturday at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, but CMU head coach Dan Enos isn’t expecting a vastly different WMU team.
“They haven’t changed a whole bunch,” he said. “They play to their strengths, emphasize what’s working and getting the ball to their hot players; a lot of the same concepts that we have.”
Carder was in his third year as the starting quarterback during his senior season when he suffered an injury Sept. 22 and has not played since.
Junior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen has started the past five games. He has thrown for 1,463 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season.
“The quarterback – he is not a big drop off,” CMU senior safety Jahleel Addae said. “He’s a real good quarterback, and he’s got some real legit wide receivers; they’re big and run good routes.”
One WMU player back from injury is senior wide receiver Eric Monette. He had eight catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns last week against Northern Illinois.
“We haven’t had our core wide receivers all together; it’s been a makeshift group,” WMU head coach Bill Cubit said about the team’s injuries. “(Monette) played well. He’s a veteran, and we trust him. It’s great having him back there … good for him, too. He’s had a tough senior year with those injuries.”
CMU quarterback Ryan Radcliff said the WMU defense hasn’t changed much either but did note a few talented players.
“They have some good cover corners; I know (Lewis Toler) has been there for a while,” Radcliff said. “(Freddie) Bishop is one heck of a defensive lineman; they have some standout guys.”
Bishop and Travonte Boles are two defensive linemen Enos pointed out as play-makers for the Broncos. The combination has 95 tackles this season, including 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. In the defensive backfield, Toler has three interceptions and nine pass deflections.
One thing CMU won’t want to change about WMU is its inability to win at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The last time the Broncos won in Mount Pleasant was in 2002.
“They’ve done a great job holding their home field advantage,” Cubit said. “We’ve got to go up there and understand there will be a lot of intensity.
“It will be an intense game on Saturday.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Kelly/Shorts Stadium.